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NATIONAL STADIUM PROJECT

Release Date: 24/08/2012

THE Irish Football Association has appointed planning consultants and a design team to prepare and submit a planning application seeking full permission for the redevelopment of the Windsor Park stadium to provide an 18,000 seated capacity National Football Stadium. The project is receiving funding from the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure of £25.2M.

The Irish FA is today launching a Community Consultation Process, which is the first phase of the wider community engagement process required to deliver the sustainable, economic, social, equality and environmental returns as part of the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure investment in the Regional Stadium Development Programme  to provide an opportunity for the wider community and groups with an interest in the stadium redevelopment to become better informed about the proposal and to contribute their views before a formal planning application is submitted. The aim is to bring about meaningful public engagement which contributes to the project design, helps to address any community concerns and to mitigate potentially negative impacts.

The Community Consultation Process will last for 12 weeks and will be concluded by the preparation of a Community Consultation Report which will be published on the Irish FA website.

The plans for the Stadium Redevelopment will be on display at seven locations in Belfast: Ballysillan Leisure Centre; Andersonstown Leisure Centre; Olympia Leisure Centre; Ozone Complex Ormeau Park; Greater Village Regeneration Trust Offices Donegall Road; Irish FA Offices at Adelaide Business Centre, Apollo Road and Belfast City Hall. Details of the proposals will also be available on the Irish FA web site (www.irishfa.com).

The Stadium Redevelopment will comprise:
 

·          Refurbishment of the north stand without altering the overall bulk;
·          Demolition of the south and east stands;
·          Replacement of the south and east stands with newly constructed stands to provide greater enclosure;
·          Refurbishment of the west stand;
·          Provision of an 18,000 seated stadium;
·          Replacement of high mast flood lights with lower level lighting, integrated at stadium roof height;
·          Creation of a temporary construction access onto Boucher Road to avoid construction impact on local residents;
·          Development of ancillary office accommodation to provide a new headquarters for the Irish Football Association; and
·          Development of an appropriate level of conference and community facilities.

The Irish FA would encourage those within the community to submit their views by completion of questionnaires at the display locations or by visiting the Irish FA website (www.irishfa.com/the-ifa/surveys/).  A public information day will also be held mid/late September during which members of the public will be able to submit their views in respect of the proposals. The date and location of the information day shall be made known in due course.

The Irish FA is currently involved in discussions with Planning NI and a wide range of statutory bodies with regard to the proposals, with the aim of submitting a planning application towards the end of 2012. A range of environmental surveys has been completed to date including; traffic; ecology; visual; archaeology; contaminated land; noise and air quality surveys.

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